Thursday 28 October 2010

Garden - 28 October

A quite session, as the feeders had probably run dry by Saturday evening/Sunday morning which would have caused the Goldfinches to wonder further afield with only 2 Goldfinch, 7 Blue Tits (plus one re-trap) and a Starling (20 odd in the garden after the nets had been closed). One Blue Tit followed the tendency for the odd one to have a large beak.

Yorkshire ringing week - 23 to 30 October 2010

Sunday 24 October

No ringing due to the strong winds from the West! So a few hours at Flamborough with a bit of seawatching and a wonder around the headland.

Sea foam drifting across the headland


Our couple of hours seawatching produced 4 Little Auks and single Manx and Sooty Shearwaters, along with the usual sea birds. The wonder around the headland was pretty quite.

Monday 25 October

Allowed us to get in a ringing session with Peter Dunn at Filey.  We did 24 birds plus 3 re-traps; 3 Blackbirds, 8 Blue Tits, 3 Great Tits, 5 Long-tailed Tits, a single Goldfinch, 2 Lesser Redpolls and 2 Tree Sparrows. I annoyingly missed the fly over Hawfinch whilst collecting the bacon sandwiches.

 Tree Sparrow

Lesser Redpoll

 A visit to the Brigg pm produced five Purple Sandpipers and a flock (70) of Common Scoter and six Eiders.

 Turnstone bathing

Filey Brigg

 Purple Sandpipers

Tuesday 26 October

Wind and rain from the west.

Wednesday 27 October.

Due to the forecast showing no change in the wind direction or strength it was decided to head back south, as even the birding was potentially uneventful.

Sunday 17 October 2010

Stanwell Moor ringing site - 17 October 2010

Rather foolishly we decided to do Stanwell Moor am - with no takers from the ringing group, we perhaps should have considered a day of rest. The session was okay but we had hoped for some Thrushes (none) and a few more Goldcrests.

The days totals was : 46 which included 3 re-traps

Meadow Pipit - 8
Wren - 3
Dunnock - 1
Robin - 2
Chif-chaff - 2
Goldcrest - 5
BlueTit - 14
Great Tit - 5
Long-tailed Tit - 5
Reed Bunting - 1

Goldcrest - 3

Robin - 4

Chiff-chaff - 3

Reed Bunting, female 3 colour ringed as part of
a scheme we are undertaking, sadly this year we
have only had 4, compared to 38 last autumn.

Again arriving home and having flushed over 30 Goldfinches out of the garden, so we dropped the net again and achieved Greenfinch (1), Goldfinch (7) and Blue Tit (4). We are getting quite good numbers in at present but catching is not easy due to the garden size and the fact they very quickly become aware of the net. Apart from the fact Goldfinches in these numbers keep the Blue Tits off the feeder and away from the nets, one of the adult Goldfinches is ringed - but where?

Goldfinch, male - 3

Iver Heath - ringing demo, Home Cottage Farm, Apple Day 16 October 2010

One of our ringing sites is at a fruit farm after the pick your own season has finished in November. They hold annual 'apple day' with various stalls from various organisations. We offered, last year, to put a ringing demo on during the day and about a month ago they contacted us to see if we still wanted to do it. So with the help of some of the ringing group from the Hilfield Res contingent Denise and I , together with Peter Delaloye, Vic and Helen Izani, and Mathew and Carol Rosser we managed to give a few of the visitors some pleasure seeing birds close up.

we did 53 birds - which included 2 re-traps
Great Spotted Woodpecker 1
Robin 2
Blue Tit 30
Coal Tit 6
Great Tit 2
Long-tailed Tit 3
Goldcrest 6
Nuthtach 2
Chaffinch 1
the two re-traps Blue Tits
X763676 was rung at Home Farm on 28/12/09
X905853 was rung in our garden on 17/7/10

Coat Tit - 3

Goldcrest - 3

We were approached by two ex-ringers during the demo, one in his 60s whose health was unfortunately not as good as could have been and another who was there doing a ferret racing demo!

Upon returning home, a quick drop of the net and we managed a Great Spotted woodpecker, 3 Goldfiches and 2 Blue Tits.

Norfolk weekend 9 & 10 October 2010

A return to a birding weekend in Norfolk staying B&B at Stiffkey Friday/Saturday night, on a weekend of easterlies potentially proved interesting. Saturday morning we decided to walk across the fields and work through the campsite woods, unfortunately not turning anything up of 'rarity' interest. The exceptionally high tide covering the salt marsh pushed a lot of birds close to the shore which are usually distant and it was obvious that there was a good passage of Robins and Thrushes in progress, a theme for the weekend. After returning to collect the car we decided to head towards Holme via Titchwell. Titchwell though shown as open had a slightly high volume of water in the fresh marsh and virtually none in the brackish, with the scrape in front of the 'bittern' hide overgrown. So this was slightly disappointing combined with the sea not holding much apart from a large flock of Common Scoter. We did manage a Water Pipit though on the brackish marsh. News of an Olive-backed Pipit took us back to Stiffkey anda rather slippery and muddy trudge across the marsh to the strip of grass covered mound that runs parallel to the shore. Good close views. The first we have had for some time and well worth the risk of a mud bath. Not everyone kept going and some turned back but run all the way LGRE! We then decided to head to Kelling for the Barred Warbler and due to the fact that the mobile signal can be erratic along the coast, we did not get to hear of the Radde's at Warham Green until later. Sadly we did not manage to see the Barred either, but there were many Goldcrests and a few finches coming in with Brambling and Siskin and the lane at dusk was full of Thrushes unidentifiable in the failing light other than via calls .

Sunday took us initially to Warham Greens, sadly no Radde's but plenty of visible migration going on. We then decided to give Holkam (Wells Wood) a go and discovered the hike in car parking costs since out last visit. The area around the toilet block was full of Goldcrests and after some patient searching we managed to find a Yellow-browed, which is always a delight. A late Reed Warbler got Denise going whilst partly hidden until to showed fully and later flight views of as normal, a very flighty Ring Ouzel amongst a mixed flock of over 500 Thrushes on brambles and rose hips by the fields, which brought a though if only we had nets! We no specific news of anything too outstanding, we decided the Wilson's Phalarope at Welney was a good excuse to head south at 2pm. We arrived having not been for some years to be met by a grand barn designed visitor centre. We easily managed to see the Wilson's followed by the Pec, and manage to catch one of the Short-eared Owls as it briefly flew around for short while.

A change to do some birding, always with the feeling of some good potential as the following week proved in Norfolk and along the east coast.

Sunday 3 October 2010

Wraysbury GP RRG and Stanwell Moor ringing site - 2 October 2010

On Saturday we joined the group at Wraysbury GP for a session. 12 group members attended and the days catch came to188 birds of 21 species with 15 re-traps and one Swallow control (X405762).

Totals were: Chiff-chaff  (43); Blackcap (26); Greenfinch (26); House Martin (22); Swallow (19); Meadow Pipit (14); Robin (8); Chaffinch (4); Goldfinch (2); Goldcrest (2); Pied Wagtail (1); Tree Pipit(1) and Sparrowhawk (1).

The House Martins were feeding around the site and resting on Rose bushes. A decision was made to move a 60 feet net and with Denise and I at either ends we moved it across to the Rose bushes and half an hour later we were 22 martins in the net.

 House Martin - juv

Pied Wagtail - adult F (the first ringed at the site)

Sparrowhawk - male

Tree Pipit

Tree (front) and Meadow (rear) Pipit
note larger bill of Tree and pink lower
mandible v orange on Meadow

Ringer in charge (yes he is awake)

A gaggle working busily

Afterwards Denise and I, oddly with no other volunteers after the 6am start, went to Stanwell Moor via the local garden centre cafe where we managed another 25 Meadow Pipits along with Blue Tit (14), Chiff-chaff (6), Great Tit (3) and Long-tailed Tit (1).

Meadow Pipit catching area